A study on malassezia micro flora in the skin of healthy individuals in North Kerala, India

Remya V. S., Arun B., Sheeba P. M., Pratyusha Kokkayil


Background: Malassezia spp are accounted for approximately 60-90% of the total cutaneous fungal micro biota. An enhanced understanding of the distribution of Malassezia spp in healthy individuals is necessary to gain insight to involvement of these species in human skin disorders particularly in pityriasis versicolor. The aim of this study was to assess the Malassezia micro flora of healthy individuals and to identify species variation with different body sites, gender and age groups.

Methods: A total of 120 apparently healthy men and 120 women without any skin diseases or who were not treated for Malassezia associated skin diseases were selected for the study. The specimens consisted of scrapings collected from chest, back and neck from each control subject totaling 720 sites.

Results: The recovery rate of Malassezia was positive in case of 452 (62.78%) of 720 sites sampled, while the remaining 268 (37.22%) were found to be negative. Recovery rate of Malassezia was highest in chest with 83.33% positive cases, followed by the back with 73.33% and the neck 31.67%. M. globosa was identified as the common species (46.46%) followed by M. furfur (25%) and M. restricta (22.56%). No significant difference was present (P > 0.05) in distribution of species with different body sites, gender and age groups.

Conclusions: The overall colonization rate of Malassezia spp in normal healthy individuals found in this study was 62.78%. M. globosa was identified as the common species (46.46%).


Malassezia species, Normal microflora

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